What is SAP Implementation?
An SAP implementation is a large scale, multi-month (or year) project that requires a “methodology” to help organizations successfully execute an SAP implementation and maximize the use of SAP’s functionality after go-live.
The implementation of an SAP Project covers the following phases:
- Phase 1: Project Preparation
- Phase 2: Business Blueprint
- Phase 3: Realization
- Phase 4: Final Preparation
- Phase 5: Go Live and Support
A detailed description about each of these phases is given below.
Phase 1: Project Preparation
In this phase, project has to be planned and foundations for successful implementation have to be laid. This is an important stage in which the strategic decisions important to your project can be made:
- Define your project goals and objectives
- Clarify the scope of your implementation
- Define your project schedule, budget plan, and implementation sequence
- Establish the project organization and relevant committees and assign resources
Phase 2: Business Blueprint
- In this phase you create a blueprint using the Question & Answer database (Q&Adb), which documents your enterprise’s requirements and establishes how your business processes and organizational structure are to be represented in the SAP System. You also refine the original project goals and objectives and revise the overall project schedule in this phase.
- SAP has defined a business blueprint phase to help extract relevant information about your company that is necessary for implementation. These blueprints are in the form of questionnaires that are designed to probe for information that uncovers how your company does business. As such, they also serve to document the implementation.
- Each business blueprint document essentially outlines your future business processes and business requirements.
Phase 3: Realization
- In this phase, you configure the requirements contained in the Business Blueprint. Baseline configuration (major scope) is followed by final configuration (remaining scope), which can consist of up to four cycles. Other key focal areas of this phase are conducting integration tests and drawing up end user documentation
- The Realization phase is broken in to two parts.
- Your SAP consulting team helps you configure your baseline system, called the baseline configuration.
- Your implementation project team fine-tunes that system to meet all your business and process requirements as part of the fine tuning configuration.
Phase 4: Final Preparation
- In this phase you complete your preparations, including testing, end user training, system management, and cutover activities. All open issues in this phase must also be resolved in this phase. At this stage you need to ensure that all the prerequisites for your system to go live have been fulfilled.
- As phase 3 merges into phase 4, you should find yourselves not only in the midst of SAP training, but also in the midst of rigorous functional and stress testing. Phase 4 also concentrates on the fine tuning of your configuration before Go-live and more importantly, the migration of data from your old system or systems to SAP.
- Workload testing (including peak volume, daily load, and other forms of stress testing), and integration or functional testing are conducted to ensure the accuracy of your data and the stability of your SAP system. Because you should have begun testing back in phase 2, you do not have too far to go until Go-live. Now is an important time to perform preventative maintenance checks to ensure optimal performance at your SAP system. At the conclusion of phase 4, take time to plan and document a Go-live strategy. Preparation for Go-live means preparing for your end-users questions as they start actively working on the new SAP system.
Phase 5: Go Live and Support
- In this phase, you move from a pre-production environment to the live system. The most important elements include setting up production support, monitoring system transactions, and optimizing overall system performance.
- The Go-live milestone is itself is easy to achieve; a smooth and uneventful Go-live is another matter altogether. Preparation is the key, including attention to what-if scenarios related not only to the individual business processes deployed but also to the functioning of technology underpinning these business processes and preparation for ongoing support, including maintenance contracts and documented processes and procedures are essential.
These are the phases of SAP implementation. Please let get in touch with us through comments below if you have any questions!